Design Review: Citroën DS Numéro 9 concept
by Joe Simpson    18 May 2012
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Exterior - Rear

1 A different kind of floating roof
Not a true floating roof in the style of Mini. Rather than being defined by the header rail and a blacked out A-pillar, its floating nature is created by a vast rear spoiler, which sails beyond the roofline before cutting back down the edge of the roof, to define the top of the C-pillar and DLO. There is essentially an inner roof and an outer roof (see shots from above). The DS motif etched on the sides fades toward the front of the car.

2 Balanced by a spoiler
Spoiler/outer roof is absolutely key to the way this car is read. It's not a shooting break, but the spoiler suggests a roofline that finishes far beyond the rear wheel meaning that many read it as a 'break'. In fact the inner line of the roof begins its taper downwards ahead of the rear axle-line and the screen angle is quite fast. Without the spoiler the Numéro 9 would read closer to a Porsche Panamera than a Ferrari FF.

3 Décrocher Contrôle
(Trans: literally ‘un-hook control') As Bonzanigo points out, the kinking line was developed by Opron and originally seen on the SM. But in the modern DS Lexicon, it's the shape theme employed across the range. Here we see it in the DLO de-markating the rear shoulder. It's also present in the wheel design, rocker chrome element (another area where all DS cars have benefited from an apparent level of attention) and rear lamp clusters.

4 Shoulder line
Beyond the spoiler, this shoulder line is the next most important visual trick. The rear volume of the cabin tapers in significantly, creating a pronounced shoulder and sense of power over the rear wheel. Note how the rear screen runs into a short deck surface which the shoulder scallops the edges from.

5 Positive-negative
One of the most delicate areas of surfacing on the car. The upper bumper/lower tailgate has a positive surface, which flips into negative as it rises to meet the deck. It creates a wonderfully sharp lip at its edge and gives the rear of the car a pugnacious quality that's very Citroën.

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